Clause 24 - Fixed penalty notices

Part of Tobacco and Vapes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:15 pm ar 9 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central 3:15, 9 Mai 2024

I rise to support my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston. I completely agree that when we set these figures, we often forget that the economy has moved on so much, and that the rise in inflation has meant that so many things cost so much more. Just £100 is a very small amount to many shops, which take their cut from these products. It is therefore essential that we move into the realms of reality, not least because the consultation advised the Government that £200 would be an appropriate starting point and would have public support.

Clause 26 says that the figure can be amended by the Secretary of State, should they choose to do so. So the amendment would not place a limit in primary legislation, but it would make this a more realistic deterrent to ensure that shopkeepers abide by the law. It is also really important to have an incentive for them to ensure that they are fully up to speed with their obligations. This change would focus their minds as regulations are introduced, as the Minister alluded to, and ensure that they keep themselves up to date, because they know that the penalty makes it worth doing that. I therefore urge the Committee to adopt my hon. Friend’s amendment. It is a simple measure that would not cause the Minister any grief as the Bill passes through its later stages.